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Pre-Emergent Herbicides for Weed Control

Solutions Pest & Lawn offers a wide variety of professional-quality pre-emergent herbicides for control of target grasses and broadleaf weeds on turf, landscaping, agricultural lands, golf courses and other areas.  Pre-emergent herbicides weed killers are perfect for spring and fall application.

Pre-emergent herbicides are usually applied in the early growing season and help prevent target grass and broadleaf weed seeds from germinating as the weather begins to warm up in the Spring.  A pre-emergent herbicide weed control forms a barrier around a seed, making it nearly impossible for the seed to sprout and the weed or grass to grow. You can look at it as a form of birth control for your problem weeds.

Pre-emergent herbicides can be applied using a granular spreader or a pressurized handheld sprayer which Solutions carries in our equipment section. Most liquid herbicides come as concentrated solutions that need to be mixed with water first (according to the label) before application.  Granular herbicides can be spread using a granular spreader and may require irrigation in order to help the granule release the pre-emergent chemical.


How to use Pre-Emergents: Solutions 3 Step Process

At Solutions Pest & Lawn, we care our customers and want them to have a pest-free and insect-free home and yard and we want to empower you with not only the tools to take care of but also free guides and advice so you can do it yourself. All of our products have been tested and been given the seal of approval from licensed professionals. Using pre-emergents is simple. Just follow our three step process and you'll be set:


Step One: When applying pre-emergents, be careful to aerate first, and not after applying the products.  Aeration can break the seal over the ground and around the seeds which makes the pre-emergents less effective.  Should be applied in early fall and early spring for best results.


Step Two: Pre-emergents come in liquid (Oryzalin), granular (Balan), and dissolvable in water Prodiamine 65 WDG . Each product types has its own advantages so whatever you end up using depends upon your weed type and personal preference. 


Step Three: Whichever pre-emergent method you select, it is vital that you water the product adequately to get it into the topsoil layer. This does not have to be done immediately, but within the time indicated on the label, usually 1-3 days. Waiting too long exposes the chemical to light and/or heat that will diminish its potency.


It’s that simple! If you have any questions or need further assistance, don’t hesitate to call us or contact us via email at askapro@solutionsstores.com. Our experienced experts are standing by to help you when you need it. 


Destroy Weeds Before They Take Over With Pre-Emergent

Image result for weeds lawnWeeds are the bane of every lawn owners existence. Technically speaking a weed is any plant which grows where it is not wanted. It takes a lot of hard work to keep a neat lawn: watering it, mowing it regularly, applying fertilizers etc. only to have weeds pop up out of nowhere and muck up all your efforts. Even when you’re successful at removing or killing weeds, you can’t celebrate for long because they almost always come back.

Having to pull weeds by hand or even breaking out that annoying weed whacker is something everyone wishes they could avoid. So what is the best way to get rid of weeds? Well there is a solution: Pre-emergents!


Any serious lawn owner or gardener has pre-emergent in their arsenal when tackling the issue of weeds in their yard. While they don’t guarantee instant gratification where you just spray once and weeds are out of your life forever, they do work effectively to reduce weeds springing up in your soil significantly when used properly.


Pre-emergents are a herbicide which works to kill weeds and before their seeds sprouts or “emerge” from soil--hence the name. A good way to look at pre-emergents are as a kind of birth control for you lawn. Pre-emergents prevent weed seeds from germinating (growing) and thus the seeds never become weeds.


Different Types of Pre-Emergents

Pre-emergent comes in granular and liquid forms and can be selective or non-selective. While both are effective forms, granular is easier to apply and provides less mess. The plusses of liquid is that they provide a more even application and you can have more flexibility in terms of the level of concentration. Whatever you choose to kill your weeds depends upon your preference.


Solutions Stores carry a variety of pre-emergent herbicides. These herbicides are professional-grade quality and are proven to produce results. Some notable ones we would recommend if you want to use granular include Oxadiazon 2G, Tebuthiuron 80WG  or Prodiamine 65 WDG. If you’re on a tight budget,Nitrophos Barricade would be an effective and affordable option. On the liquid side SFM Extra,Dithiopyr 40 WSB and Diuron 4L are highly recommended.



One way to choose the right pre-emergent herbicide for your yard is by identifying and understanding the weed problem you particularly have. We have guides here on our website which can help you decide what type of common weed that you are dealing with and the recommended treatment options that best neutralize that particular weed. You can also call or email us at askapro@solutionsstores.com and we can work with you personally to identify you specific weed issue and give you helpful recommendations.

 for more information please see 

The Best Times To Apply Pre-Emergent

caring for a lawn

As Springtime approaches, your yard will soon be met with the lush green growth that will make your lawn pop. Springtime is also the time when weeds begin to rear their ugly head as well.


But if you’ve done your homework and applied pre-emergents in the early fall, those dormant winter seeds won’t be sprouting, saving you a lot of headache and labor in removing troublesome weeds. 


A solid pre-emergent weed killer should be a part of every homeowner who wants a healthy turf and we’ll show you why in this article.


What Is Pre-Emergent?

Pre-emergent herbicide is an important tool in any effective weed management program. While post-emergent weed killers like RoundUp tackle weeds that have already sprouted and are uglifying your lawn, pre-emergents work the other way around, killing weed seeds before they ever sprout. You could say that it’s a form of weed birth control.


This is important, as mentioned above because if you don’t have weeds mucking up your lawn, you can spend less energy and resources controlling weeds in the spring and summertime because those undesirable pests aren’t around to give you extra work to do in keeping your lawn nice and neat.


How Pre-Emergent Herbicide Works

pre-emergent prevents weeds from germinating.


To get a better idea of how pre-emergent works, let's look at 3 key guidelines of pre-emergent weed control.


Guideline #1: Pre-emergent herbicides are designed to control germinating weed seeds.


Pre-emergents work by forming a layer of protection when they are applied to the surface of the soil which kills small weed seedlings just as they are starting to grow. So if you’re trying to control a weed that has already sprouted, a pre-emergent will not work in controlling or killing it.


To achieve the best results and to avoid wasting time and labor cost down the road, the weeds shouldn't be visible above ground at the time of application.


The weed will only be killed when it begins to sprout from the seed and hits the barrier formed by the pre-emergent application. There is a chance that weed seeds remain dormant and not be harmed by the pre-emergent.


This is why weed control requires the applier to be diligent and time their applications correctly as it is key. There will always be seeds under the surface and a portion will germinate each season. Knowing this bit of information makes it important to conduct applications annually to significantly deplete large weed infestations.


It is important to note that a pre-emergent herbicide can affect desirable plants which include turf. Take caution if you're applying pre-emergent and seeding the turf in the same season.


We would recommend that you seed first, then apply a pre-emergent at least 6 weeks later to allow for lawn establishment. You could also choose to seed at least 3 months after the pre-emergent has been applied.


Guideline #2: For best results, pre-emergent must be correctly mixed and evenly applied over the target area.


Pre-emergent herbicides need to be mixed correctly for the application work appropriately. Be sure to carefully read the manufacturer's recommendations on the label and have a good sprayer that is calibrated properly.


Make sure to get a good thorough coverage when spraying pre-emergent. Picture an ideal pre-emergent application to be like a blanket for your lawn– you need to cover an entire area through which the weed seeds cannot germinate. Spot spraying is ineffective, as there is plenty of open space for weeds to establish themselves.


Manufacturer instructions will indicate how much product to use “per 1000 square feet” or “per acre”, which determines how much herbicide to use for each gallon of water. Note that it usually takes 1 to 2 gallons of spray solution to cover 1000 square feet.


Guideline #3: Pre-emergent herbicide must be watered in.


Whether you are using a liquid pre-emergent of a dry pre-emergent, the herbicide should be watered in to be activated. You can't just put pre-emergent down and just let it sit and expect it to work. Most products call for a half inch of irrigation or rainfall within 3 weeks after application.


Best Times for Pre-Emergent Applications

spray your lawn with a quality pre-emergent


If you live in the North: depending on the type of weed problem you have, generally we would recommend to conduct 2 pre-emergent applications.


One in the spring when the ground is no longer frozen and vegetation begins to bloom. The second application should be just before summer.


If You Live in The South: Apply a pre-emergent application in mid to late February just before spring really starts to come in. The 2nd treatment should be conducted in mid-may to prepare for the long summer ahead.


An additional pre-emergent treatment should be applied during September or October in preparation for the winter months.


Recommended Pre-Emergent Herbicides

We carry a wide range of pre-emergent herbicides here at Solutions. What pre-emergent works best for your depends on several factors. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to find out what the best pre-emergent approach and product you should use.


  • What weeds do you want to control?

  • Is the goal to prevention, eradication, or both?

  • Are there cultural practices that could help reduce weed presence?

  • What are the life cycles of the weeds, and when is the proper timing for a pre-emergent herbicide application?

  • What desired plants are on the property?


Some of the best pre-emergent herbicides we carry are Prodiamine and Dithiopyr which work great to control a variety of common problem lawn weeds. However, there may be a chance these herbicides will not work depending on how you answer the questions above.


It would be wise to share this with us so we can analyze that information and point you in the direction of the right pre-emergent for your yard.


Find The Pre-Emergent That’s Right For You

Pre-emergents can be an excellent instrument to get rid of those weeds that have been plaguing your lawn every spring. Give us a call or chat with us to learn more about pre-emergents and what pre-emergent weed killer will be best for your lawn. You can shop our selection of pre-emergent herbicides here.

There are both liquid and granular forms of pre emergents on the market, you will have to decide which works best for your type of application whether you apply granules and then water them in or mix with water and apply.


The DIY Guide To Applying Pre-Emergent Herbicides

A healthy and uniform lawn is a beautiful sight to see but it can often be a large pain in the neck to maintain. Weeds can often creep up and rear their ugly flowerheads and once that happens, homeowners have to resort to pulling, digging and using post-emergent herbicides to kill off these unwanted plants.


Thankfully, there’s a way to save yourself the labor of killing off a weed outbreak by not having the weeds spring up to begin with: pre-emergent herbicides. In short, pre-emergent herbicides are essentially a form of birth control for weed seeds that are established in the soil, preventing them from ever germinating onto your lawn and uglying up the landscape.


There are a number of great pre-emergent herbicides which we carry at Solutions Pest & Lawn which can achieve control of weeds BEFORE they emerge. In this guide, we will cover some of the common weeds which plague lawns as well as what pre-emergents are best, how to apply them and when to apply them for the best possible results.

The Key To Using Pre-Emergent Herbicides: Timing

Most lawn owners who get frustrated with weed problems have issues on their lawn which are completely preventable had they only addressed their weed issues at the right time. It may be cliche but the saying goes, “ It’s always better to prevent a problem than correct it.” which is exactly what the purpose of pre-emergent herbicides are to begin with.  So when should you use a pre emergent herbicide?  When you have weeds that will germinate from seeds, this is typically in the spring and the fall months.

Even if it’s still winter, It’s never too early to prepare for spring and getting your lawn the way you want it and addressing common weed issues your lawn has before the green starts to show again. Among the pre-emergents that can deliver the most satisfying control results are two heavy hitters: Prodiamine and Dithiopyr. We will talk more about these products as we go along but first lets cover some of the usual suspects which appear on your lawn.

Common Cool Season Grasses Which Can Be Addressed With Pre-Emergents


- Annual, germinates in early summer and into fall, drops seeds in later fall.


Poa Annua (annual bluegrass) - Annual, germinates in fall (some also in very early spring), drops seeds the following spring.

By implementing a pre-emergent application program which targets these notorious undesirable weeds will also at the same time cover you against other, less common weeds including: Foxtails and barnyardgrass which share a similar cycle to crabgrass.

To of the most effective and most affordable professional pre-emergent herbicides you can use to prevent these grassy weeds from establishing and growing on your lawn are are Prodiamine and Dithiopyr. These two herbicide types can pretty much be used interchangeably and you can get coverage for an entire season by applying a sufficient amount of this product to form a barrier on your lawn.

Often pre-emergents can come in liquid form, but we highly recommend for the best results to find these products in granular form. Luckily, at Solutions Pest & Lawn we have granular forms of these products on our store shelves which are readily available to homeowners.

The reason why it is better to use a granular pre-emergent version of these products is that one of the main difficulties faced by using liquid applications is the challenge of mixing the product into hand sprayers and backpack sprayers  Don’t take this the wrong way though, we are not saying that it can’t be done successfully, it’s just that it’s an added hassle to have to mix chemicals when you essentially don’t need to by just going with a granular formulation.

With granular applications, you basically just measure how much product you need according to your lawn size, fill up your lawn spreader and apply. Pro tip: it’s very important to not forget that when using granular herbicides, you need to water in these herbicides. Water activates granular problems so they can get to doing their job.

Application Timeline For Addressing Cool Season Grasses

The ideal application strategy to address the cool season grasses we listed above is this

-Early to Mid Spring - Apply Prodiamine

-Early Summer - Apply Dithiopyr  

-Late Summer/Early Fall - Dithiopyr

The reason both of these active ingredients should be used interchangeably is due to labeling. The annual maximum for the granular prodiamine we recommend is 6.2 LBs per 1000 Square Feet per year

The first prodiamine application will be made in early spring, a period of time after the bloom of forsythia. Another signal to apply is when you start to see trees blooming, and the first set of spring tulips coming up. The recommended application rate should be 5 lbs/1000 sq ft. This will deliver a potent 3-4 month residual as long foot traffic is kept to a minimum. If you have a smaller lawn, you can store the Prodiamine this away in a dry, dark place and use the rest next season.

Special NOTE: never apply any lawn product to ground that is frozen. The product will just run off when it rains.

In the summertime around early to mid June, we recommend your second pre-emergent application of the year with dithiopyr. This is assuming that dithiopyr was applied in the Spring around March. Again, it cannot be stressed enough that proper timing is essential to the pre-emergent being successful. If the spring leaves early and summer comes and begins beating down your lawn with heat and humidity, you will have to adjust your application time based on your observation. The adjustments should depend on the climate and region where you live.

While it could be possible to use a single product for all three of these applications, according to tests and experience, Prodiamine works better early on in the spring because it sticks to the soil better and can resist heavy spring showers better while dithiopyr doesn’t do as well.

Dithiopyr performs better later in the season especially when it comes to controlling crabgrass. It has been shown that dithiopyr can provide some post-emergent control on very young crabgrass that may be breaking through in June. This is something prodiamine is unable to do.

Pro tip: Moving into a new home in the summertime? Apply dithiopyr as soon as you can, even before you unpack and unload. Just make sure you call the water company and get them turned on so you can water this in! ½” needed to get it into the soil.

In June you’re going to want to apply at a rate of  4 lbs per 1000 Sq ft. Usually this would give you 3 to 4 full months of control but with it being summer, clay soils may crack due to the conditions resulting in breaks in the barrier. After application, with keeping your lawn watered regularly and foot traffic being limited, you will be good for the summer with sufficient control.

At this point, your lawn should do well against crabgrass. However, it is believed that crabgrass seeds germinate for months, all season long from June until October. To be on the safe side, we recommend a third and final application which will put a halt on any crabgrass which may emerge late as well as tackle any annual bluegrass.

We recommend applying in late august, especially if you have been consistently watering over summer. Here we want to use the same high rate of the Dithiopyr at 4lbs per 1000 Square Feet. Finally, if by any chance crabgrass does emerge in the fall, Quinclorac would be your most affordable means of post-emergent selective control. We recommend using a surfactant to help with the application.

It should go without mention but we highly stress that you should always read the labels on products you buy.

Common Warm Season Grasses Which Can Be Addressed With Pre-Emergents

In the southern states, the weather is warmer for a lot longer but there still exists the similar problems of crabgrass and Poa Annua repeatedly making appearances on lawns as well as weeds like sandbur. Sandburs germinate in spring and appear in the late spring early summer time.



Nutsedge/Kyllinga - Notorious for taking over entire lawns.These weeds just grow and grow all year round even in winter. These product may require not only pre-emergent but post-emergent as well.


Doveweed and Signalgrass are also problematic undesirable grasses and weeds which can appear but can be prevented via a well thought-out pre-emergence program!

In the south, the following are the most common warm season grasses: St Augustinegrass, Bermuda, Zoysia, Centipede and Bahia.

Application Timeline For Addressing Cool Season Grasses With Pre-Emergent

The ideal application strategy to address the cool season grasses we listed above is this

-February  - Apply Prodiamine

-Early April - Apply Oxadiazon 2G Pre-Emergent Herbicide (Ronstar) (this is for the sedges/kyllinga, doveweed and sandbur)  

-June (Optional) - Dithiopyr (if you have crabgrass, signalgrass, poa annua)

-September/October: Prodiamine

In the South often Spring comes in the beginning of february, so depending on the temperatures that is when to start your lawn care and apply a pre-emergent when soil temperatures reach 55 degrees fahrenheit. You can find out the temperature with the help of a soil thermometer.

The initial application or Prodiamine in February you should apply at a rate of 5lbs per 1000 Square Feet. Ideally, this should give you a solid 4 months of control. If your soil is on the sandier side, it can shorten the control time.  Later in the summer, the goal would be to suppress kyllinga/nutsedge and prevent doveweed which is why we suggest Oxadiazon 2G Pre-Emergent Herbicide (Ronstar). If Sandbur is the problem on your lawn - then you should use Prodiamine in early March no matter where you live (they tend to germinate a little earlier). This product suppresses but cannot fully prevent sandbur.

June is pretty much summer all across the South. However with the crazy way the weather can act down south it can also be a particularly rainy season so you have to be careful that you don’t apply pre-emergent only to have it wash away by heavy rainfall. As stated earlier, dithiopyr can have some post emergence control on very young crabgrass plants so you can use that as an option in the summer.

For our final pre-emergent app of the year, we want to cover ourselves for fall but also over winter. It doesn’t get cold enough for things to stop growing in most areas of the south. Even though the lawns may go dormant, the weeds and problem grasses often keep growing. So once again, use prodiamine and make sure you don’t forget to water it in.

As a general word of caution, please wear proper personal protective equipment (eye protection, gloves, long sleeves, etc) as listed on the label of each product you buy. By following these steps, pre-emergent herbicides can go a long way in keeping your lawn free of those seasonal weeds.  We have tried to make it as easy as possible here in this guide so you know How do you use pre emergent?  But if you still have questions you can always call or email.


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